As many of you have figured out from the hint in announce post #2278, I'll be doing a revamp of the Mage and Summoner classes during the next few months. The design is still a work in progress, but I have enough things finalized to be able to provide some details on what to expect - please keep in mind that some of this is still preliminary and may change.
MageMages are changing into a momentum-based profession that primarily focuses on burst damage, utilizing afflictions to establish momentum. The primary new concept will be elemental attunements - each spell is assigned to one element, and most offensive spells, when cast at a target, will increase the target's attunement to the spell's element. Each type of attunement will have 5 levels and will be cured by a different plant (orphine = fire, mandrake = air, nightshade = earth, kelp = water). What is important is that attunement will always be cured last, after all other afflictions for that plant. All attunements will also be curable by focus with the same "always last" restriction.
An important design element is that spells of a particular element never give afflictions cured by a plant that cures the element's attunement - which means that to successfully increase attunements, you will need to plan ahead and combine spells of multiple types. Additionally, many spells have an additional "if target attuned to X or more, this spell also does Y" element present.
A second key feature will be spell combinations. Each spell will be classified as a stand-alone, primary, or secondary, and you will be able to cast a combination of a primary+secondary spell. Some spells will be able to be used as either primary or secondary, with different effects in each mode. Stand-alone spells can't be combined (most utility spells are like this).
The primary skill (name still pending) contains spells focusing on the fire and water elements. Fire spells primarily focus on damage, with various conditional effects depending on the target's fire attunement. The water spells are more (but not exclusively) focused on various hindering effects.
The secondary skill (again, with name pending) predictably focuses on air and earth spells. Thematically it is somewhat similar to Evocation, but focusing on raw elements rather than utilizing nature. Functionally, the air spells mainly revolve around the Reflection spell, which is going to retain its usage, but will also be extended to allow some line-of-sight attacks (the class will no longer have area-wide control, as druids fill that role now). Finally, the earth element mainly provides utility and support spells.
Finally, the tertiary skill contains two different themes. The majority of the skill focuses around a crystal that the Mage can spin in a room. The crystal slowly gains power until a cap. Once at maximum power, the crystal will provide passive health/mana regen to its owner. This is not its primary use, though - the crystal will allow to focus spells through it, which will consume some of its accumulated power and give the spell an additional effect of the Mage's choice. Power is consumed much faster than it is gained and the cap is fairly low, which means that the crystal will most commonly be used to provide 'burst' offense at the right moment.
The second part of this skill will allow creation of some of the current Alchemy items, most notably sigils.
IMPORTANT: many Alchemy items will cease being available. The Magick circle may want to invest into the Engineering Research shard skill to cover the gap.
Finally, to answer the obvious question, the profession will no longer have aeon-style functionality, nor anything similar to the current Crystalism vibrations.
SummonerThematically, Summoners are in a much better shape than Mages, and will be retaining much more of what they have, even though in a significantly changed way. The profession will follow a 'demonic caster' theme, with a focus on both damage and afflictions (the affliction focus is somewhat higher than in the case of Mages).
The primary skill (Noctu replacement, possible name change to be determined) will utilize the element attunement concept that Mages will use - instead of the four elements, though, they will use only the fire element and a new 'spirit' attunement. Spirit attunement will be a laurel smoke cure, with the same "cured last" functionality.
The fire spells will follow a similar damage-oriented approach, but will thematically be more oriented on heat generation than raw fire. The spirit spells will build upon the existing Noctu effects that follow this theme - the various *aura abilities. Of note is the fact that Transmogrify will no longer be available - read up below on Enslavery for the replacement functionality.
Tarot remains the second skill, with much of its functionality unchanged. Some cards will be reworked - the most notable change is that I'll be removing the option to fling two cards at once. Instead, you will be able to infuse a card with a spell, meaning your primary offense will consist of spell+tarot combinations. Obviously some cards (most notably Hangedman and Aeon) will need to change for this to be viable.
Hangedman will see a prone requirement added, but the biggest change is coming to Aeon. The aeon affliction will change entirely, and will provide a damage-relapse effect similar to what sulfonal does with toxins. The exact conditions and restrictions on this are yet to be determined.
Finally, Enslavery. Pact forming and the demon list will remain, but the actual functionality will change. Instead of providing a set of entities, a system similar to the current Golgotha ability will be used. The Summoner will be able to become possessed by the various Demon Lords and take advantage of this in various ways. The actual effects will vary widely - some will provide defenses such as higher stats (a replacement for the existing Transmogrify), while others will offer various offensive effects. Some will be removed upon use, others will be able to be used as often as desired.
An important feature of Enslavery will be that the capacity for being possessed will be restricted - you will not be able to become possessed by all the demons at once, but will instead have to choose.
The only remaining entities will be the pathfinder and the doppleganger (with a different spell list) - everything else will instead use the new system.
ConclusionThere will be a full beta test scheduled after all these changes have been coded, where the balancing issues will be addressed. Some changes to the Wytch profession may also prove necessary with the aeon change - this will likewise be addressed at that time.
Some of you have submitted classleads that are no longer relevant in the light of these changes - if this applies to you, contact me if you'd like to have your report removed.